Social influences on young people's consumption: norms, modelling, pressure, socializing and conformity

T. Oostveen*, R.A. Knibbe, H. de Vries

*Corresponding author for this work

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This study aims to assess which types of social influence are correlated with young people's (15-24 years) heavy drinking (six or more glasses) in public drinking places during the weekend. Drinking in public drinking places can be defined as a ''timeout'' situation. Therefore we assumed that situational factors (e.g., importance of socializing and direct pressures on drinking) would contribute more to the explained variance than variables indicating cognitive social influences (e.g., social norms and modeling). Stepwise regression analyses showed that in total 25% of the variance was explained by social norms of family and peers (15%), importance of socializing in drinking situations (7%), modeling (2%) and group size (1%). The results show that both a cognitive factor and a situational factor appear to be most strongly correlated with young people's frequency of heavy drinking in public drinking places. Within the category of situational influences those variables indicating direct social pressures were only weakly related or not significant. Studies focusing on measuring the impact of social influences may profit from including the concept of the importance of socializing and conformity as an additional factor.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)187-197
JournalAddictive Behaviors
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1996

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